Here is hoping your playoff fortunes are playing out favorably, and you might want to look to pep up your fantasy football rosters in the IDP ranks. Below we discuss a nice handful of defensive players that are picking up the pace as the season heads to the final weeks of regular season action, the time of the season when fantasy football titles are earned (or at times, lost, due to inauspicious roster management). Should your squad still have a chance to reign supreme, then act decisively to claim the championship trophy, perhaps by snagging one or more of the IDP profiled below. Now, let's get to the fantasy football IDP Report for NFL Week 16.


Fantasy Football IDP Risers – Elevator Going Up


Khaleke Hudson, Washington Commanders 

Hudson leads off our linebacker profiles, and he surged into a prominent role on the Commanders defense with the season-ending shoulder injury to Jamin Davis. He had 14 total tackles (TT) in Week 15 on the West Coast against the host Rams, eight of those of the solo variety. The Rams were not a superb matchup for linebacker fantasy production, so do not be discouraged with the next two opponents who do not project for great results. As a nearly every-down LB he should continue to put up useful fantasy point production. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns

The third-year player has seen his playing time (PT) pick up significantly over the last four weeks, where he has been credited with 32 TT (22 solo). He has also contributed on the big-play side of the stat sheet, with two sacks, two pass deflections/defenses (PD), an INT and forced fumble (FF) during that string of contests. This week presents a great matchup against the Texans 

K.J. Britt, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Britt’s usefulness as a LB3/4 is strictly dependent on whether Devin White is going to resume his starting role or if his foot is still limiting his time on the field. The Week 16 opponent, the Jaguars, is the top team in terms of allowing opposing linebackers to accumulate fantasy points, so it would be wise to keep an eye on the Buccaneer inactive list this week. If Britt is going to see significant snaps on defense, he can build on the six TT he accumulated in Week 15 (three solo). One of those six wrap-ups was for a loss of yards (TFL), please note.

Duke Riley, Miami Dolphins

The veteran LB has stepped up and assumed the green-dot duties on the defense for the Dolphins due to injuries. He is seeing significant snaps as a result, and while he does not provide LB1 or LB2 type production, he is useful in deeper IDP formats where multiple LBs are needed. 

Defensive Linemen

Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE New Orleans Saints

While it would be foolish to expect him to repeat the three-sack explosion he produced in Week 15 against the Giants, he is playing significant snaps on defense, exceeding those granted to Cameron Jordan over the past three contests. He also added six TT in last week’s game (five solo). Check in to see if the hot hand will be producing in Los Angeles when the Saints visit the Rams in Week 16.

Bryce Huff, DE New York Jets

Huff added another sack to his season total in Week 15, and now has eight on the year. He has been a steady sack producer this season, which is why he is useful on your fantasy roster as the tackle numbers are decidedly pedestrian at less than two per game over the season. The next two matchups, Washington and Cleveland, are favorable.

Lukas Van Ness, DE Green Bay Packers

The rookie seems to be adjusting to the NFL game, picking up sacks in two of the last three games. He is only playing less than 50% of the defensive snaps but the matchup against the Panthers in Week 16 is promising for him to build on his sack total in 2023.

Daron Payne, DT Washington Commanders

Payne is the lone DT featured this week, and has been nothing to crow about for the bulk of this season. He is coming off a stellar two sack effort against the host Rams, however, and now takes on the Jets who are the team handing out the second most sacks in the league through Week 15. If you need a DT due to league format, and are looking for a sack or two, this little-owned DT could be of use to you in setting your starting roster this week.

Defensive Backs

Ifeatu Meiifonwu, S Detroit Lions

With Tracy Walker being benched, Melifonwu has jumped into a starting role in the Lion defense full force. He collected nine TT in Week 15 against the visiting Broncos (six solo), while also accumulating a sack, a FF and a pair of PDs. He has a pair of road games on tap, a so-so matchup in Minnesota but then a more favorable contest in Dallas for Week 17. 

Andrew Wingard, S Jacksonville Jaguars

Wingard saw a significant uptick in snap time on the defense with Andrew Cisco out with a groin injury, and could again be called upon to start for the Jags. He contributed 11 TT as the starting free safety (10 solo). His utility is dependent on a starting role, however, so keep an eye on the injury reports coming out of Jacksonville for Week 16.

Jason Pinnock, S New York Giants

The Giant defensive back has been inconsistent this season, but has been impressing lately. He has put up 18 TT (14 solo) with a sack and an INT over the last three contests. Week 16 provides a strong matchup in the form of the reeling Eagles, number three in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing safeties. 

Brandon Jones, S Miami Dolphins

Another player benefitting from a fellow player being on the sidelines due to injury, Jones stepped up his game by snagging a couple of passes last week and defensing a couple other passes (two INT and two PD). The Dolphins have a good matchup with the Cowboys coming in for a visit this week.

Charvarius Ward, CB San Francisco 49ers

Two INTs, one a pick-six, was quite a nice bit of fantasy production, considering he was questionable going into the contest against the host Cardinals as questionable with a groin issue He also had a pair of PD and three TT (two solo). The Ravens are a tough matchup in Week 16, but he overcame the odds to produce last game, so no real reason to count him out if you are seeking CB help for your roster.

Desmond King, CB Houston Texans

As the new nickel back in the Texan defensive scheme, he is making a big impression. Last week saw him put up double-digit tackles (11 TT, six solo) and also record a sack against the host Titans. Taking on the Browns at home is not ideal, but not a terrible opportunity for cornerback production.


Fantasy Football IDP Fallers - Escalator Going Down

Josh Sweat, DE Philadelphia Eagles

Sweat has been in a bit of a slump of late after a strong first half of the season, failing to register a sack in the last five contests and averaging just under 2.5 TT per game over the same stretch of games. He does have a chance to redeem himself with a good matchup against the Giants this week, so there is hope but there are also DEs that have been putting up better numbers to trust more.

Damontae Kazee, S Pittsburgh Steelers

Being suspended for the balance of the season effectively removes any value the Steeler safety possessed. 


Week 16 Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Browns or Jaguars, but certainly you will do well if you own a top DB playing on for the Cowboys against the Dolphins in sunny FLA or a Colt edge rusher going against the Atlanta offense that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay

Cleveland Browns @ Houston

Denver Broncos vs New England

Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco

Chicago Bears vs Arizona

Defensive Ends

Atlanta Falcons vs Indianapolis

New York Jets vs Washington

Tennessee Titans vs Seattle

Chicago Bears vs Arizona

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

Defensive Tackles 

Cleveland Browns @ Houston

Washington Commanders @ New York Jets

Dallas Cowboys @ Miami

Houston Texans vs Cleveland

San Francisco 49ers vs Baltimore


Carolina Panthers vs Green Bay

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants

New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins vs Dallas


Los Angeles Rams vs New Orleans

Miami Dolphins vs Dallas

Los Angeles Chargers vs Buffalo

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Chargers


Week 16 Waiver Wire Targets

This section is intended to serve as a shortened cheat sheet listing those waiver wire targets you should be considering if you need to plug a hole in your starting lineup. All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. All these players should be widely available in your leagues, but if one or the other is already rostered, there are enough other options to pursue as the playoffs go forward (all are owned in significantly less that 50% of ESPN and Yahoo leagues). Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.


Khaleke Hudson Washington Commanders 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Cleveland Browns

K.J. Britt Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Duke Riley Miami Dolphins

Defensive Linemen

Tanoh Kpassagnon DE New Orleans Saints

Bryce Huff DE New York Jets

Lukas Van Ness DE Green Bay Packers

Daron Payne DT Washington Commanders

Defensive Backs

Ifeatu Melifonwu S Detroit Lions

Andrew Wingard S Jacksonville Jaguars

Jason Pinnock S New York Giants

Brandon Jones S Miami Dolphins

Charvarius Ward CB San Francisco 49ers

Desmond King CB Houston Texans

NFL IDP Injury Report - Ouch (My Aching Roster)

All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff.  Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.


Tyreke Smith Arizona Cardinals personal

Bud Dupree Atlanta Falcons back

Tyus Bowser Baltimore Ravens knee NFI-R

Malik Hamm Baltimore Ravens ankle IR

Brian Burns Carolina Panthers illness

Marquis Haynes Carolina Panthers illness

Yetur Gross-Matos Carolina Panthers knee

Claudin Cherelus Carolina Panthers knee IR

Chandler Wooten Carolina Panthers ankle IR

Luiji Vilain Carolina Panthers knee IR

Noah Sewell Chicago Bears knee

Jordan Kunaszyk Cleveland Browns calf

Anthony Walker Cleveland Browns knee

Nik Bonitto Denver Broncos knee

De’Vondre Campbell Green Bay Packers neck

Blake Cashman Houston Texans hamstring

Segun Olubi Indianapolis Colts hip

Divine Deablo Las Vegas Raiders ankle

Tanner Muse Los Angeles Chargers knee IR

Amen Ogbongbemiga Los Angeles Chargers hamstring

Marcus Davenport Minnesota Vikings ankle IR

Jordan Hicks Minnesota Vikings shin IR

Matt Judon New England Patriots biceps IR

Zaire Barner New York Jets hamstring IR

Zach Cunningham Philadelphia Eagles knee

Nakobe Dean Philadelphia Eagles foot IR

Oren Burks San Francisco 49ers knee

Drake Thomas Seattle Seahawks knee IR

Devin White Tampa Bay Buccaneers foot

Chance Campbell Tennessee Titans undisclosed IR

Defensive Linemen


Carlos Watkins Arizona Cardinals biceps IR

L.J. Collier Arizona Cardinals biceps IR

Kentavius Street Atlanta Falcons pectoral IR

DaQuan Jones Buffalo Bills pectoral IR

Leonard Floyd Buffalo Bills wrist

A.J. Epenesa Buffalo Bills ribs

DeMarcus Walker Chicago Bears leg

Cam Sample Cincinnati Bengals knee

D.J. Reader Cincinnati Bengals quadriceps IR

Ovo Okoronkwo Cleveland Browns pectoral

Villami Fehoko Dallas Cowboys knee IR

Will Anderson, Jr. Houston Texans ankle

Emmanuel Ogvah Miami Dolphins hamstring

Carl Granderson New Orleans Saints shoulder

Cameron Jordan New Orleans Saints ankle

Isaiah Foskey New Orleans Saints quadriceps

Payton Turner New Orleans Saints toe IR

Quinton Jefferson New York Jets hip IR

John Franklin-Myers New York Jets hip

Clelin Ferrell San Francisco 49ers ankle

Arik Armstead San Francisco 49ers foot

Drake Jackson San Francisco 49ers knee IR

James Smith-Williams Washington Commanders hamstring


David Onyemata Atlanta Falcons ankle

Jordan Phillips Buffalo Bills wrist

Johnathan Hankins Dallas Cowboys ankle

Teair Tart Houston Texans personal

Nick Williams Los Angeles Chargers shoulder

Daniel Ekuale New England Patriots biceps IR

Cameron Heyward Pittsburgh Steelers concussion

Kalia Davis San Francisco 49ers ankle

Javon Hargrave San Francisco 49ers hamstring

Bryan Mone Seattle Seahawks knee-ACL PUP

William Gholston Tampa Bay Buccaneers knee

Jeffery Simmons Tennessee Titans knee

Kyle Peko Tennessee Titans calf IR

John Ridgeway Washington Commanders foot

Defensive Backs


Bobby Price Arizona Cardinals quadriceps IR

Ar’Darius Washington Baltimore Ravens chest IR

Marcus Williams Baltimore Ravens groin 

Micah Hyde Buffalo Bills neck

Xavier Woods Carolina Panthers illness

Sam Franklin Carolina Panthers quadriceps

D’Shawn Jamison Carolina Panthers illness

Jaylon Jones Chicago Bears calf

Tycen Anderson Cincinnati Bengals knee IR

Juan Thornhill Cleveland Browns calf

Grant Delpit Cleveland Browns groin IR

Malik Hooker Dallas Cowboys ankle

Darnell Savage Green Bay Packers shoulder

Grayland Arnold Houston Texans calf IR

Eric Murray Houston Texans knee IR

Jimmie Ward Houston Texans concussion

M.J. Stewart Houston Texans shoulder IR

Andre Cisco Jacksonville Jaguars groin

Brandon Facyson Las Vegas Raiders shin IR

Essang Bassey Los Angeles Chargers concussion

Jevon Holland Miami Dolphins knee-MCL

DeShon Elliott Miami Dolphins concussion

J.C. Jackson New England Patriots illness NFI-R

Trenton Thompson Pittsburgh Steelers neck

Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers knee

Elijah Riley Pittsburgh Steelers ankle IR

Jamal Adams Seattle Seahawks knee

Josh Hayes Tampa Bay Buccaneers illness

Ryan Neal Tampa Bay Buccaneers back

Darrick Forrest Washington Commanders shoulder IR


Jalyn Armour-Davis Baltimore Ravens concussion

Kalir Elam Buffalo Bills ankle IR

Donte Jackson Carolina Panthers back

Mike Ford Cleveland Browns illness

Jerry Jacobs Detroit Lions hamstring

Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers shoulder

Tavierre Thomas Houston Texans hamstring IR

Tyson Campbell Jacksonville Jaguars quadriceps

Christian Braswell Jacksonville Jaguars hamstring IR

Joshua Williams Kansas City Chiefs illness

Deane Leonard Los Angeles Chargers ankle

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson Los Angeles Rams hamstring

Xavien Howard Miami Dolphins hip

Cam Smith Miami Dolphins hamstring

Marcus Jones New England Patriots shoulder IR

Christian Gonzalez New England Patriots shoulder -labrum IR

Lonnie Johnson New Orleans Saints knee

Aaron Robinson New York Giants knee-ACL/MCL PUP

Darius Slay Philadelphia Eagles knee

Deommodore Lenoir San Francisco 49ers ribs

Devon Witherspoon Seattle Seahawks hip

Carlton Davis Tampa Bay Buccaneers groin

Sean Murphy-Bunting Tennessee Titans hip

Kristian Fulton Tennessee Titans hamstring IR

As ever, good luck and Godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, you can also send a message to for a personal response from the writer of this article. Naturally, the more detail you can send about your league, such as number of teams, platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.